We want to try and plan some impromptu pleasure drives throughout
the year which are in addition to drives already planned. If
you would like to be informed of any drives that may be arranged
during the year please send your email address to Pearl Hudson at
We are also looking for more venues to hold BDS drives, so if you
would like to host a drive can you also please let Pearl know. Even
if you can only cater for 2 or 3 turnouts it would be good to be
able to offer more drives to our members.
Copford Farm Drive, Waldron Green 6th June
We had a very
good attendance at this drive with 10 turnouts coming to do the
quiet country lane drive around Chiddingly and Muddles Green.
As with most of our drives there were several routes
available but as it was quite a warm day most people decided to do
just 7 or 8 miles. Participants set off in twos or threes when ready.
Everyone had a lovely drive.
The venue is perfect for parking as we have a very large open
field which looks out across the rolling countryside.
A lot of the drive was along wooded lanes which gave shade to
Springfield Farm Drive, Rushlake Green 23rd May
The wet weather the week or so before the
event made the field too wet to unbox in so we had to unbox on the
hardstanding around the farm. This
placed a limitation on the size of lorry we could accommodate and
unfortunately two members were not able to attend as a result.
Apologies to them. There
were 7 turnouts that could be accommodated.
This venue offers a superb selection of quiet country road
drives of various lengths but on the day everyone decided to do the
8.5 mile route which follows the ridge road and affords extensive
views across the Sussex countryside.
The weather decided to offer us a selection of what it could
do and the drive was a mixture of sunshine and showers.
Little Downash Farm Drive, Hailsham 2nd May
Another lovely sunny day greeted the 8
turnouts on this drive. Members
from Surrey and Warwickshire attended this drive too.
There were two main routes: a flat quiet country drive across
the Pevensey marshes with 360 degree views; or an equally quiet
country road drive around the hamlet of Hankham.
Participants chose which route they wanted to do on the day. Some drove out on their own while some preferred the company
of others. Everyone had
fun and enjoyed the morning.
Havenswold Drive, Hailsham 11th April
After a break of nearly six months due to
Covid lockdown we were able at last to hold a drive from Dick
Tannerís place in Hailsham. The
long dry spell had dried out the ground and we were able to unbox in
one of his fields. We had seven turnouts including members from Kent and Surrey,
a rider and a cute young Shetland who was long reined to the meet in
order to see what it was all about.
This venue offers wooded byway tracks,
which were all dry and firm underfoot, with quiet country lanes.
Several routes available offered different lengths and
catered for the differing levels of fitness and sizes of equines
which was just as well as we had Shetlands to Clydesdales and all
Havenswold Drive, Hailsham 25th October
We just managed to hold another drive before national Covid
restrictions forced us into another lockdown.
Torrential rain was the main feature of this drive for the four
turnouts and 1 rider who attended. As the venue was close to her
stables, Rosie Fieldwick drove Millie to the venue and met the other
participants at the start.
Despite the rain that had fallen over the previous night and was
continuing to fall on the Sunday morning, the off road woodland
tracks were still firm underfoot. Sarah Otway decided to do the long
off road drive through Abbots wood while the other members did a
shorter country road drive. Everyone got very wet including the
equines. Needless to say, as soon as the drive was over, the sun
came out. If only we had made it an afternoon drive!
Little Downash Farm Drive, 18th October
Only four turnouts attended the drive from Little Downash Farm.
Claire Cousens drove her pony from her home stables to meet up with
the other participants at Little Downash Farm. Three turnouts did
the quiet country road drive around the pretty hamlet of Hankham.
While Sarah Otway drove Hodge on the 12 mile scenic round trip
across the Pevensey marshes.
Firle Park Drive 6th September 2020
It was a perfect warm and sunny autumnal morning for the Firle
Park drive. There were eleven turnouts with one from a West Sussex
member and these were accompanied by a rider.
Like everywhere, Covid had its effect with the Park being sealed
off and special arrangements had to be made with the Estate
Management to ensure that this drive went ahead. The route was a
mile shorter this year as we were not able to traverse the village a
second time due to the need to man gates that were normally open but
this did not detract from the beauty of this drive which is nearly
all off road and has outstanding scenery as it follows the original
coaching road which has been closed since 1812. It is truly a
magical and special place.
High View, Framfield 8th August 2020
We had our usual drive from Sue Page's establishment this year
but this time we had to hold it on a Saturday morning. To make it a
bit different this year, Sue organised a different route from the
usual one. Members were able to take advantage of the new route, or
complete the usual route if they preferred. It was a very hot
morning and all of the eight turnouts and one rider chose to do the
usual route. Fortunately much of the route took the participants
through tree covered, green leafy lanes so it was not as hot as it
might have been. At one point a deer leapt across the road right in
front of the procession of horses but the horses just took it in
It was a lovely sunny day with a cool breeze, which meant that
the horses did not get too hot. Members were able to drive either
individually or in small groups. Social distancing was practised
throughout the event.
Evening drive, Little Downash Farm 1st August 2020
The previous day had been the third hottest on record for the UK
but fortunately the temperature had dropped by 10įC by the day of
our drive and that coupled with the fact that we held an evening
drive made it very pleasant for all participants especially the
We had six turnouts planned but on the day only four turned up
plus we also had a rider accompany two of the turnouts which drove
out together in company. The two other turnouts went on their own.
For those that remember Lynda's sumptuous refreshments, they were
sadly missed this year as no refreshments could be provided due to
Our most grateful thanks go to Lynda Baker-Beal for providing the
safe venue and to Gina and Kevin Jeffery for manning the long
driveway all evening and ensuring that everyone was safe entering
and exiting the venue.
Havenswold Drive 26th July 2020
Dick Tanner had very kindly provided us with one of his fields to
unbox in again. We had nine turnouts, including a member from
Surrey, two guest members and a rider. There were a choice of
several routes available and most members decided to do the long 10
mile route but two turnouts, with smaller ponies, did a shorter 8.5
mile route. Both of these routes included the long 3 mile woodland
byway through Abbots wood.
Jason Fieldwick came with his recently trained to driving cob,
This was a lovely quiet and picturesque drive and everyone
arrived back safely. As there were no refreshments provided by our
host under Covid rules, attendees brought their own packed lunches
which they ate in the field while they enjoyed the summer sun.
Fletching Drive Sunday 5th July 2020
Sue Page had offered
her woodland in Fletching as a venue for a Trec.
However it was decided to cancel the Trec due toCovid-9
we decided to hold a drive or Treasure Hunt from the same venue
turnouts took part from East Sussex, Surrey and Kent and all opted
to do the road drive followed by a drive through Sue Pageís lovely
woodland, which took them along wide paths and past a beautiful
It was a lovely sunny
day with a cool breeze, which meant that the horses did not get too
hot. Members were able
to drive either individually or in small groups.
Social distancing was practised throughout the event.
After the drive, participants were able
to enjoy their own refreshments and picnic in the wood.
Summer Solstice Charity Drive Havenswold 21st June
In line with the new
spirit of the BDS supporting and improving the life of working and
harness horses, we decided to hold a charity drive in aid of
American Fondouk, an equine hospital which provides veterinary and
farrier care to the working horses, mules and donkeys in the city of
Fes, Morocco. These
poor equines have to do back breaking work under the most appalling
conditions and desperately need the care provided by American
Our Summer Solstice
Charity evening drive was going to be held at Cliffe Equine
Veterinary practice at Laughton, who also supports the charity.
However, due to Covid-19, they closed their premises to
members of the public and so we lost our venue.
Not wishing for the charity or our members to lose out, Dick
Tanner offered us one of his fields to unbox in.
So we ran the drive from Havenswold, Hailsham.
It was a lovely
sunny evening and we had eight turnouts and a rider.
Havenswold is well placed for driving as it is situated close
to three off road byways all accessed via quiet country roads.
Most turnouts did the
10.5 mile route which took in all three byways.
There were also several shorter routes, which some
participants did, but even these included one wooded byway.
Members were charged
a minimum donation of £10 per turnout and each turnout was given a
lovely rosette sponsored by the BDS.
Thanks to the generosity of BDS members who attended and many
others who did not, we raised a grand total of £445.
All of the money has gone to American Fondouk with no
deductions and it will go a long way to help relieve the suffering
of those hardworking horses, donkeys and mules who would, without
the support of the equine hospital, have to stumble along without
any veterinary or farrier care.
Copford Farm Drive Sunday 14th June 2020
This drive went ahead as planned but with
Covid-19 restrictions in place.
We had a lovely sunny day and were parked up in a very
spacious field that overlooked some beautiful rolling countryside.
This venue offers several routes of varying lengths all on
very quiet scenic roads.
There were 11 turnouts booked but on the day
only 8 turned up and we were accompanied by 1 rider too.
We did have participants from across the counties as members
from Kent and Surrey joined us.
All the participants seemed very pleased to be able to get
out and meet friends again. Everyone
keenly adhered to social distancing and no one touched anything
other than their own equipment as the gate was manned by Pearl
Hudson wearing gloves and face mask.
We did not provide toilet facilities or
refreshments but participants were able to enjoy their own picnic
lunches after the drive in beautiful surroundings.